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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
My 2012 X5 just got alignment and new tires (Continental Extreme Contact DWS) put on and i still feel a shimmy or shake on the steering wheel at about 70mph and above. I do a lot of highway driving and this is unacceptable. I had the run-flat tires on before so i figured upgrading to a softer tire would fix it. Well thats not all true.
My Car shop is competent and i know its hard to find small balljoint or tie rod ends wear. They wouldn't do alignment if they found any issue with these suspension components either.
Anyone have any suggestions besides road force balancing or doing a thorough suspension check which would just cost more money

Rotors feel fine. No shake or shimmy when braking.
The shop did say that the balance was fine too. Also i'm pretty sure they would mention if the wheels seemed bent or wobbly.

I'm not happy since this is a new car for my wife and i. This is the biggest investment we made and it should ride smooth as silk....ANY HELP IS APPRECIATED.

Thanks
 

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Needs a thorough going over. I agree it is not acceptable. Click 'n' Clack, the Tappett Brothers say ANY vibration in the steering wheel must be stamped out pronto, before the front wheels have a chance to fall off. If that happens at speed, it'll ruin your whole day.

If the shop you took it to for the tires and alignment couldn't/didn't find the issue, you really need to take it somewhere else for a second opinion. It's very dangerous as it is. Tire balance, bent wheels, bad tie rods, bad wheel bearings, tires out of round, any one of them will cause this as well as bad alignment. Good luck finding the problem, and may it prove simple/cheap to fix.
 

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although it's a different model, to some extend you can use the E39 guys' experience:

http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/showpost.php?p=7999631&postcount=4

based on that your lower control arm is worn.

BMW calls the thrust arm radius rod here (sometimes tension strut). lower control arm is called wishbone here.

http://www.realoem.com/bmw/enUS/showparts?id=ZV43-USA-01-2012-E70N-BMW-X5_35iX&diagId=31_1289

I have to add the bushing in the thrust arm wears out quickly. It's a liquid filled bushing and if you can see stain right under on the bottom of the thrust arm, that bushing is gone.
 

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Balance?

Hi, this happened to me last year. Felt like it was wobbling and steering wheel would shake going over 60mph. Mine was a matter of needing to get the tires balanced properly.
 

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I rarely drive as slow as 70, but I agree this is a problem!
Im often doing 100 and feel the beautiful steer of a BMW youd expect. I say that just to reinforce your desire to fix this, not to rub it in.
Please let us know what the diagnosed problem is & how you fix it.
 

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1. WHAT IS THE ALIGNMENT SET TO? ie what are the numbers? It isnt eitehr 'aligned' or 'not aligned'...

2. acoste is correct about th eE39 world, in fact the X5 bushes are a common upgrade into E39 arms.

The CLASSIC symptom of a thrust arm bush, or lower control ar, or tension strut (all the same thing) is a judder or vibration at 50+ than is usually triggered by light braing (but not always). Braking will be fine at lower speeds, but at that speed there is enough energy entering the suspension to trigger the wobble

It is SUPER hard (if not impossible) to diagnose a bad thrust bush by visual or physical exam. They go bad FAR before they look bad...

3. DO not take the shops "didnt mention it, I am sure they would have said something if it was bad" to be a valid input to your process of elimination

4. Bent rims or rim run out are not things that are always caught. If you do a road force they WILL check run out (and bent) rims. Dont assume the shop will have found that if they just balanced them.

My guess is it will be a rim issue. Just a guess, this based on 70MPH and above..
 

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I would start by taking it to a chain tire shop to get the wheels re-balanced. Their tire balance machine might be out of calibration.
 

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Just had this happen to mine. Same issue. Same new tires--Conti DWS. I do not believe the issue was with the tire, though. I finally had my wheels re-balanced at my indy, after some tire shops did less than acceptable jobs, and he also replaced my lower control arm and bushing. This largely resolved the vibration issue. Recommend having your wheels checked to see if they are straight as well.
 

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Most tire and wheel problems would be evident before you hit a speed of 70. Worn lower control arm bushings usually cause a wobble when you start to hit a particular speed threshold which can vary depending on the type and weight of the vehicle. Had a 98 300E Mercedes that developed the lower control wobble which started at 55mph and then would disappear above 68mph. Tire under inflation and bad wheel balance amplified the problem.....but correcting wheel and tires did not get rid of it. So until I could pull the control arms and have the old bushings removed and new ones pressed in I was relegated to drive below 55 or above 68 to avoid the annoying "palsy" wobble
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
2012 X5 Wheel shake resolved

Hey everyone. I had all 4 tires re-balanced using road force balancer and i'd like to say that my problem has COMPLETELY went away. I couldn't be happier. The shop did mention they were all off by a few ounces, not sure exactly the number. Thanks all for your input.
 

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Hey everyone. I had all 4 tires re-balanced using road force balancer and i'd like to say that my problem has COMPLETELY went away. I couldn't be happier. The shop did mention they were all off by a few ounces, not sure exactly the number. Thanks all for your input.
Out of curiosity...what alignment numbers are you running?

Not that it impacts vibration- but it will impact how many miles you get from the new tires.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I'm not sure what the alignment numbers are. i'm going back to the shop eventually i'll ask. Obviously that doesn't help you now.
 

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No sweat- Im actually trying to help you.

You should always get a written print out when you get an alignment done. Store it with the car receipts.

BEFORE you have an alignment done, come back and ask for recommendations....

;)
 
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